Tuesday, May 08, 2007

How Tax Money is Used -or- How Sausage is Made

John Campbell is my Congressman. He is not only my C-man, John is also a blogger. His blog, Greeneyeshade, is a reference to the fact that he is an Accountant by trade, so when C-man Campbell talks about budgets, I listen.

Despite record deficits we will be paying off for the next bazillion years, the House of Representatives passed a budget a few days ago that enables the government to operate at a deficit for the next four years or longer. It also includes the largest tax increase in American history and continues to pilfer Social Security for funds that our kids and grand kids will be paying off for the next gazillion years.

The C-man asks, and rightly so, what are we spending our tax dollars on that we must continue stealing from Paul, Peter, Mary, Ruth, and anyone else who pays taxes?

Phayre's Leaf Monkeys: You probably have never heard of a Phayre's leaf monkey. Neither had I, until last week, when the House voted on the reauthorization of the spending for the National Science Foundation. Never mind that the bill increased spending in excess of 25% over 3 years. I found 7 specific items of spending that were in the bill to be of particular interest. They were:

1. Study the social relationships and reproductive strategies of Phayre's leaf monkeys

2. Study of the sexual politics of waste in Dakar, Senegal

3. Study of the cognitive model of superstitious belief

4. Research the archives of Andean knotted-string records

5. Study the accuracy in the cross-cultural understanding of other's emotions

6. Research of bison hunting on the late prehistoric great plains

7. Study of team vs. individual play

Now, I will give the academics the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps all of these studies have some value to academicians and maybe the results are interesting to those who study these areas. That is not the question. The question is whether or not they rise to the level of public need that commands the use of taxpayer funds. We have a deficit. We are annually raiding the Social Security Trust Fund. The Democrats have proposed the largest tax increase in American history. Should we increase the deficit in order to better understand the sex practices of Phayre's leaf monkeys? Is it okay to take your Social Security money in order to have archives of Andean knotted-string records? Are you willing to increase your taxes for a report on the sexual politics of waste in Senegal ? I'm not.

So, I proposed an amendment to strip these 7 projects and only these 7 projects out of the bill. It would have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars of your money. It failed by a vote of 195-222 on the floor of the House. If we cannot get a majority in this Congress to stop funding things like this, what will they vote to reduce? That's why I'm so adamant about not increasing taxes on anyone. We have to starve the beast of government because it will not go on a diet by itself.

You can click here to find out more about the monkey whose flirtations your tax dollars will likely now fund. Also, there is a link at the bottom of the page to the floor debate I conducted on this amendment. The debate is about 40 minutes long, however.

Oh, and one more thing. Two of the 7 studies are scheduled to take place at the University of California at Berkeley and one at Harvard University . Figures.

Until tomorrow, I remain respectfully,

Congressman John Campbell

Watch video

If you have the time (and the stomach to see how sausage is made), please watch the video of the floor debate. In it you will see first-hand how the Democrats reframe the Amendment, rephrase the question, and rewrite the issue. The Amendment is narrowly defined to the 7 items listed above. The Dems proceed to equate tax money for the study of "the social relationships and reproductive strategies of Phayre's leaf monkeys" with the tax money the Wright Bro's received for the invention of the airplane; the tax funding of the invention of the electric light by Thomas Edison with the tax monies proposed for the "Research of bison hunting on the late prehistoric great plains". You will also see how the Democrats are totally unfazed when a Republican points out that neither the Wright Bro's, nor Edison received any tax monies for their work. You will see that the Democrats had absolutely no idea what the question was or what was written into the Amendment; they were totally oblivious. And why? It's not their money.

I believe it to be of earth shattering importance to know what the hell exactly is meant by the "sexual politics of waste in Dakar, Senegal". That just stumps me. On the other hand, "research related to the cognitive model of superstitious belief" is simple - "Why do people believe stupid stuff?" Stupid stuff like, why Congresspersons believe it's necessary to spend federal tax funds on idiotic research topics as those listed in the Amendment that failed to pass, 195-222.

P.S. Please note that C-man Campbell signed with his full name, first and last.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.


Gayle said...

Good morning, Indigo Red.

I believe all of these are a waste of taxpayer's dollars, but the ""sexual politics of waste in Dakar, Senegal"???? That doesn't even make any sense! Perhaps they're referring to homosexual activity, but that's a real strange way to title it! Weird.

Mike's America said...

The "Study of the sexual politics of waste in Dakar, Senegal" is a burning issue affecting all humanity and has been ignored far too long.

How dare you minimize the importance of this vital earth issue!

Of course Congress should fund that as well as every pork project that benefits Nancy Pelosi and Dianne Feinstein's husbands.

They have to earn a living too don't they?

don said...

The sexual politics of waste in Dakar is one of those subjects that is bound to rouse you out of a sound sleep until it is thoroughly explained.